The other day as I was scrolling thru Facebook, I stopped at a status updated…and I just started crying, wishing I had won the lottery already…(Still waiting) I have been so afraid to talk about this part of my life….FEAR, it can be crippling…I think it is easy to talk about the abuse I endured as a child because he is dead now, this man, he is still alive. But I want to talk about the program that helped me and my son…
“Did you know that in 2013, during July and August alone, a total of 85 women and children were turned away for emergency housing due to overcrowding at the shelter? With the expansion of the shelter, we will be able to assist 250 more survivors each year.”
My first thought was, what happened to them…Did they go back to the abuse…Second thought was of relief, relief that they had a place for me and my 1 month old to sleep when we needed it…and how so very thankful I was that they did….
I remember that day so well, and the months and years leading up to it.
I had left before, always went back…I got pregnant I was 19, It was so amazing and so scary at the same time, I was making changes, getting ready to be a Mom, wanting to provide this child with everything that I never had….hoping that his Dad would want the same…..
I delivered my oldest with a black eye, I wish I could say that was the only time he had hit me while I was pregnant. I told him, like I had countless times before, that if he hit me again, I would be gone for good. HAH! I’m sure he didn’t believe me…
I give most of the credit to me leaving to my 7 pound 1 ounce perfect baby boy. WOW, It’s funny, I had heard of postpartum depression, I got it with my last 2. Not with my first, I got something a little different.
I remember staring into his perfect little face, a face that MY BODY made, I was so in love, so grateful and thankful that he was healthy and that he had also endured. There was NO WAY I was going to allow any one to harm him. I was on a little bit of a power trip, that is the only way that I can describe it. I mean I created LIFE! WOWZA! If I could do that, well I could do anything!!!
So he was almost a month old, and I hadn’t’ really left his grandparents house since he had been born. A friend had called and asked if I wanted to go to the mall, she had a son as well, so we would have a Mom and kid outing! I was thrilled! As I was sitting there getting ready to leave. Ka-boodle in front of me, My son to the left of my sleeping, he came up, anger in his eyes and kicked my ka-boodle, grabbed me by the hair and punched me….
I jumped and grabbed the phone, he tried to grab it from me, but I was determined, not like this, not in front of my son, I dialed 911…I grabbed my son, there is no way he would hit me while I was holding him,(later I found out how wrong I was) I screamed the address, and said please come now!
They came, I asked them just to stand outside and wait with me until my friend came, (MISTAKE), Now the laws are different, I understand why…
My friend picked me up, the plan was for me to stay at her house, haha, funny, we were kids still, yes, but this kid, had a kid…..Parents were like, she needs more than we can give her. And with OJ Simpson all over the news, well I am sure it made them very uneasy…Thankfully My friend also had another friend that volunteered at the YCC.
She told us where to go to get checked in, I was so scared, we sat in the parking lot in front of the house/building just hugging and crying…But this was my ONLY option…I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened had they not had room. I can’t….
They helped me figure out a plan, they provide me with shelter and the strength I needed to stay away. I moved to a new county, a new apartment got in to school….
They helped me get on assistance, on a housing list, pointed out how I could build a future for me and my son, without an abusive partner….They helped me see that I was worth more, that my son and I deserved more….
I wish I could tell you that was the end of this story, but a child, was a part of the story, and that always “entitles” the other parent to rights….Stay tuned, in the mean time, if you want to look into your local domestic violence advocates and help, donate, whatever your heart tells you.
If you are in a violent relationship, there are places and people who want, and can help.
But above all: